Monday, November 16, 2009

For Shammy- my Heart

Thu, May 10, 2007
This is for the loss of my goofy, silly trickster kitty- my beautiful flame colored boy.

I met him the spring before I started vet school. I was working in a vet tech job at a hospital in Randolph, when I lived in JP. He came in early one morning in a box, his face bloody and shocky. He couldn't walk. His owner gave me the box and the team in the back rushed to stabilize him. I stayed in the front on reception and talked to the owner, telling him how much the emergency stabilization would cost, and the other things that could happen.
"What??? It's just a fuckin' cat! Give me the cat, I'll toss him in the woods, he can fend for himself!"
So. yeah. We had him surrender the cat to us, and so the hospital came to own him.

He was skinny, straggly, one year old and not neutered. We cleaned him up and it became obvious pretty quickly that the leg wasn't going to come back. So, poor ducky, he lost his leg and his balls in one go.
His jaw was wired, and it hurt him to eat. He didn't want to eat at all, until I went back and started petting him. Then he'd give it a go, growling all the while from the pain. We became pretty good friends this way, and I started his physical rehab a little while later. It became obvious (and the other techs giggled behind their hands- 'we've got our sucker!') that I wanted to take him home. So home, in the Tuck Towers, we went. He grew to love Calypsa, and food. He gained two pounds in one month- much to my shame.
One night his jaw wire got stuck in the blanket, and I was woken by a big screaming orange cat stuck by his face. It was terrible!!! The very next morning we went in to get his wire out and the vet made fun of me because he'd gained two pounds. (He was too skinny before, in my defense, but I grew to learn that he was just a giant piggy!)

We got along grandly. He loved to sleep on the bed with me, which has been a great comfort all these years. We've moved a bunch of times since then, lived with other cats, other people- but he's always been a little love, my sweet marmalade boy.

Every morning I would tell him:
"Orange ya glad to be a kitty??"

He was easy to love. He had a great love of life, people, food and mischief. He loved to snuggle and in fact, one of my favorite things was that he was my constant study buddy- snuggled up in my lap as I sat at my desk. I'd only have to sit and he'd be there within a moment. He is a large factor of what got me through vet school so far, he kept me calm, kept me focused.
I loved his bravery and the fact that nothing really bothered him. He didn't care if I was screaming crying, he'd lie on the bed next to me with his one front leg on my belly telling me it was ok. He didn't care if I was getting my brains shagged out, he'd still lie there, snuggled against my leg and ride it out. (are you done yet? I'm trying to nap here.)

He was my naughty boy, my fool, my friend. He was a counter cruiser, always hunting for a dropped morsel of food, acting like we starved him. He would beg for two hours before dinner. He even has been known to use Jedi mind tricks to get people to walk away from meals so he could jump up and help himself. You'd never know he only had three legs, the way he got around and the trouble he'd get into.

He loved me deeply, and I him. I never slept as well as I did next to him. He would sleep curled at my shoulder, so on cold nights I would turn my back to him and he would hold the covers down. He would groom my fingers, and come to me with such mellow love on his face when he was ready to lie down and snuggle with me.

I snuggled with him before I left that night, the night he passed on. I was lying on the bed reading and he came to hang out. He loved it when I rubbed his head with my chin, and I was doing just that. I'm so glad I got one last beautiful time with him. This is going to hurt for a long long time, I loved him so much. I feel lost without his goofy sillyness and his humor. His love and caring. My Captain Shammy, my Shamrock, my pumpkin head. He was too damn young!! I wanted to care for him when he was old. I wanted to be able to make jokes about getting him a wheelchair. I hate that he is gone, hate it.

Someone said to me, a few years ago, that certain animals in our lives are our protection, and that when they move on they can do more to help us on the spirit plane than they can here in the physical. I am trying to find comfort in this now, imagining his coyote silliness and sweet gentle love sitting on my shoulder; that he's got my back... it doesn't help me right now, when I am crying and missing him, but I know he's there in my heart and will stay there forever.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

waiting for next post